Education Through Entertainment

How to Make a Ping Pong Ball Levitate | Fun Science Experiment

Posted on Wed, Aug 17, 2016

Perform the impossible when you make an ordinary ping pong ball float in mid-air!  Learn how to do this super cool science feat in just a few minutes.

Watch this video and follow the step-by-step instructions to get started!

Check out this short video to learn how to make a ping pong ball float:

Step 1: What You'll Need

You only need two things to perform this science experiment.

  • Ping pong ball

  • Drinking straw (preferably a bendy straw)

All you need is a ping pong ball and a bendy straw

Step 2: Bend the Straw

For the best results, use a bendy straw instead of a regular straight straw.  Bend the neck 90 degrees so it points straight up.
Bend the bendy straw so it points straight up

Step 3: Position the Ball

Get into position!  While holding the straw with one hand, hold the ping pong ball over the end.

Position the Ping Pong Ball over the Straw

Got a feel for it?  Good!  Now, get ready to make it float.

Step 4: Levitation!

Take a deep breath!  You're going to need all the "lung power" you can muster to keep your ping pong ball airborne.

Blow a constant breath of air into the straw under the ping pong ball.  If the air pressure is strong enough, it will lift the ball off the tip of the straw!

Check it out!  A floating ping pong ball!

You may need to try again, blowing even harder next time!  Make sure you take breaks between attempts - you don't want to get light-headed!  The ball should be able to float at least one inch off the straw.

Learn how to levitate a ping pong ball

How Does it Work?

This amazing trick works because of air pressure.  The air coming from the straw is moving faster than the air around it, and this means that it also has a lower air pressure than the air around it.  So the ball is kept within the column of lower air pressure because of the higher-pressure air surrounding it.

Pretty cool, huh?  Try doing this trick with a friend, brother, or sister and see if you can play "keep it up", passing the ping pong ball between yourselves.

Check back again for even more do-it-yourself science experiments from Mobile Ed's Building Up STEAM series!  

If you like DIY experiments like these, then you should take a look at the kinds of spectacular demonstrations we bring to schools with our live school assembly presentations!  Take a look at STEAM Museum, Kidz Science Safari, Forces and Motion and Air: The Invisible Wonder, each full of awesome interactive demonstrations that kids love.

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About Mobile Ed Productions:

Mobile Ed Productions, Inc. has been in business since 1979, producing educational, entertaining school assemblies and hands-on workshops.  Based out of Michigan, the company creates, designs, markets and distributes innovative ways to make learning fun in the form of live presentations and interactive exhibits.

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Topics: science fair projects, science enrichment, Teaching Science, Hands On Science, making science exciting, DIY, Building Up STEAM, science experiments, air pressure, Air: The Invisible Wonder